The House and the Senate are at odds regarding Maryland’s dog bite liability law. In 2012, a Court of Appeals ruling determined that landlords are strictly liable for injuries resulting from dog bites and that pit bulls are inherently dangerous. According to a recent news report in The Gazette, the House and Senate are trying to find ways to overturn that ruling. While a number of Maryland Senators believe that strict liability for dog owners is the best option, it does not appear that there are enough votes in the House. Therefore, a compromise has been proposed.
Committee Chair Senator Brian E. Frosh has introduced a compromise that overturns the Tracey v. Solesky decision, but also allows dog owners to have their cases heard by juries. This would allow victims of dog bites to hold dog owners accountable while providing an opportunity for owners to deny any financial liability in court.
You may be wondering how these proposed changes will affect you and your family. It is unclear at this time what bills will pass and how dog bite liability laws in Maryland will change. Regardless of what happens, there are still steps you can take to protect your rights.
If someone else’s dog has injured you, it is advisable to:
- Call the authorities right away
- Write down the name and number of anyone who witnessed the incident
- Gather information about the dog and the dog’s owner
- Take photos of the location where the attack occurred and take pictures of your injuries
- Preserve any physical evidence such as torn or bloody clothing
- Report the incident to animal control officials
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
- Talk to an experienced Maryland dog bite lawyer regarding your legal rights and options
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may able to seek financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages by filing a claim against the dog owner or the landlord of the property where the incident took place. An experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer will be able to provide you with more information about pursuing your rights.